Advice: Teaching children social skills at home

Children need to be taught social skills and parents play a very important part in helping their children develop these skills.

Parents can help their children learn these skills by practicing them at home.

Respect, empathy, knowing how to apologize and being polite are four very important skills parents need to help their children learn.

Children need to understand how important it is to respect their teacher and classmates.

Remind them of the importance of accepting and befriending classmates, and respecting their elders.

Empathy is another trait that is lacking in our society today. When your child says or does something unkind or inconsiderate be sure to point it out.

Ask your child how he or she would feel if someone treated them this way.

Teach your children to apologize when they make a mistake.

Your child needs to understand that mistakes are lessons that will help him or her learn what not to do, but when mistakes hurt someone, it is important to apologize.

One way to teach this to your children is by apologizing when you lose your temper or forget to do something you promised them.

Being polite is another skill that children need to practice. Simple things like saying, “thank you” or helping their teacher or classmate carry something into the classroom helps build relationships.

One way to reinforce this skill is by pointing out the polite things your child does.

Saying things like, “I really appreciate how you helped me bring in the groceries. Thank you for listening without interrupting me. It was nice of you to let your brother play with your tablet,” encourages your child to continue this behavior.

Learning to “pause” before they react or say something they will regret is very important for children to learn.

Children need to understand that once they say or do something they cannot take it back.

The best way to teach a positive behavior to a child is to point out when he does something right. If you only point out the things he does wrong his behavior will not improve.

Learning these simple techniques will help your children avoid many difficult situations.

Parents are responsible for teaching these skills to their children.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent coach with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily, Instagram mlsalcinespoweroffamily or contact her on her blog FamilyLifeandFindingHappy.com.